Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira is in Europe to engage coaches for a possible release of players for the upcoming World Cup preparation camps in Brazil and Germany.
The coach, accompanied by Bafana physical trainer Francisco Gonzalez and team manager Sipho Nkumane, left on Tuesday.
The Brazil camp will kick off in March after the completion of the Premier Soccer League fixtures, with the German camp scheduled for April.
Bafana Bafana will round-off their World Cup preparations at their base camp at Esselen Park in Johannesburg.
Speaking before his departure to Europe, Parreira said he was cautiously optimistic.
“This trip is just to make personal contact with the coaches of clubs to try and release players for the camps of Brazil and Germany.
The real target is the local camp in May in South Africa because most European Leagues will not be completed, but if we can get the players earlier that will be great.
“But remember the clubs don’t have to release the players, but we will be happy if they could as this would greatly help in terms of our preparations for this difficult tournament ahead of us.
“We can only hope for the best in our negotiations,” said Parreira.
Physical preparation is one fundamental aspect of Parreira’s quest to prepare the team for what he described as a task equal to climbing Mount Everest, hence the involvement of physical trainer Gonzalez in the negotiating team.
“With most of our players not getting game time at their clubs, Gonzalez is expected to monitor the conditioning of those players — especially if we can’t get some of them for the camps.
“He will keep tabs by following their training programmes, and for that to happen he will have to liaise with the physical trainers of those players in their clubs, so we have to take him to make contacts.
“The whole exercise will help when the players report for national team duty, they will be in a better shape,” said Nkumane.
The Bafana Bafana delegation will return to South Africa on February 12, to prepare for the friendly against Namibia at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban scheduled for March 3. — Sapa